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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 61(2); 2018 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2018;61(2):90-95.
Published online February 22, 2018.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2018.61.2.90   
Historical footsteps of Korean women doctors during modernization in Korea
Seon Yeong Rim, Sook Hee Kim, Bong Ok Kim, Hyun Young Shin
1Korean Medical Women's Association, Seoul, Korea. shy801117@gmail.com
2Dr. Rim's Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
3Seoul Medical Association, Seoul, Korea.
4Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
5Department of Family Medicine, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
Women doctors played an exceptional role during the period of modernization in Korea, making tremendous contributions toward the development of Korean society. The first woman doctor, Esther Park, started a community service program for women in adverse circumstances, but later, expanded it to serve both men and women equally. Esther Park's spirit of service earned her tremendous respect and inspired later generations of women doctors, whose contributions and competences have been acknowledged, and who made steps toward establishing and demanding sexual equality between men and women. In addition, women doctors have contributed to informing people on about important health issues, administering treatment, and preventing of disease. All these considerations demonstrate that during the modernization of Korea, women doctors played a crucial role in the national liberation movement. The most important aspect of this period was that women became role models in many parts of society and pioneered the path toward sexual equality. They became a symbol of responsibility and collective leadership for the following generations, and women doctors, in particular, were notable examples of the spirit of leadership.
Key Words: History, Korea, Social change, Women, Physician


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